|Posted by Baronbern on February 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM|
The bicentenary of Charles Dickens, born 200 years ago this month, is certainly an occasion to celebrate, and also to remember the remarkable and longstanding relationship he had with Bernhard Tauchnitz. It is not yet Tauchnitz’s own bicentenary; he was not born until 1816, but the two men were roughly the same age and their careers developed over the same period. At the time they signed their initial agreement in 1843, authorising continental publication of Dickens’ work, Tauchnitz was just 27 and Dickens, although already an exceptionally successful novelist, was 31. They remained friends as well as business partners until Dickens’ death in 1870, and the friendship extended to their families.
The following extract from a letter of 1856 shows some of the depth of the relationship: “Having thus disposed of business, let me have the pleasure of adding that we all unite in kindest regards to Mrs. Tauchnitz and your family, and that we shall all remember our meeting here with great pleasure, and shall always look forward to a renewal of that friendship – somewhere”.
To mark the bicentenary, I have added a Dickens page to the website, and I also aim to offer a small selection of Tauchnitz editions of Dickens for sale, with a full bibliographical description. It’s certainly possible to find other copies available for sale on the internet, but few of them are accurately described, many are wrongly identified as first printings, and as a result, many are overpriced. Hopefully I can avoid at least some of those errors.